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Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data

Learning from built-in views


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Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data

with Tom Geller
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  1. 12m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Reviewing requirements
      3m 35s
    3. Using the exercise files
      3m 11s
    4. Touring examples of data visualization
      4m 58s
  2. 27m 56s
    1. Planning data structure
      8m 26s
    2. Importing and manipulating data
      6m 40s
    3. Looking at Drupal's database
      6m 13s
    4. Deciding whether to store personal data as nodes or users
      6m 37s
  3. 1h 13m
    1. Understanding the Content Construction Kit (CCK)
      4m 57s
    2. Creating new content types with CCK
      7m 26s
    3. Hiding the Body field
      2m 46s
    4. Reflecting CCK field data in the Title field
      7m 28s
    5. Managing CCK field placement
      7m 34s
    6. Exploring CCK's other features
      8m 22s
    7. Using other CCK field types
      3m 25s
    8. Adding date information as a CCK field
      8m 43s
    9. Including images as CCK fields
      10m 23s
    10. Connecting content to existing nodes
      5m 58s
    11. Using taxonomies to categorize and group data
      5m 59s
  4. 53m 54s
    1. Understanding why views are useful
      6m 12s
    2. Using SimpleViews to create basic content views
      5m 49s
    3. Diving into the Views interface
      11m 16s
    4. Adding fields to a view
      7m 12s
    5. Understanding iconic controls in the Views interface
      7m 15s
    6. Surveying the Sort, Filter, and Field options in Views
      5m 40s
    7. Adding view displays as pages, blocks, and RSS feeds
      10m 30s
  5. 43m 34s
    1. Overriding default settings on view displays
      8m 56s
    2. Attaching more information to views
      10m 57s
    3. Improving view appearances with grid, list, and table formatting
      9m 20s
    4. Surveying other basic display settings in Views
      11m 3s
    5. Altering a view's appearance through CSS
      3m 18s
  6. 55m 8s
    1. Importing, exporting, and cloning views
      6m 9s
    2. Controlling access to views
      7m 19s
    3. Learning from built-in views
      5m 52s
    4. Creating views that aren't based on nodes
      10m 6s
    5. Extending views with arguments
      10m 17s
    6. Extending views with relationships
      7m 2s
    7. Going further with relationships
      8m 23s
  7. 46m 40s
    1. Understanding geographic data
      4m 26s
    2. Setting up the Location module
      16m 20s
    3. Entering geographic data with the Location module
      10m 10s
    4. Displaying basic maps with the GMap module
      6m 43s
    5. Integrating the GMap module with Views
      9m 1s
  8. 54m 21s
    1. Exporting data in tabular form
      11m 25s
    2. Planning with the calendar modules
      11m 31s
    3. Using the Charts module and Google Charts
      7m 11s
    4. Graphing data with Open Flash Chart
      4m 50s
    5. Making important data pop out with tag clouds
      7m 46s
    6. Putting it all together in an attractive package
      11m 38s
  9. 36s
    1. Conclusion
      36s

Video: Learning from built-in views

There's one part of the Views interface that we've skipped over until now. Although there's a good chance you've noticed that at least once. That's the built-in views that you see when you first go to the Views administration page as you see here. Some of those built-in views are designed to replace existing Drupal pages, such as the Home page. Others are just cool. But all of them are instructive. So let's take a look at a few of them. The first one that we'll look at is actually the simplest. It's called Front page and it emulates the front page that Drupal comes with by default. Let's scroll down and find it. To turn it on, click the Enable button. You'll notice that one thing it does is to create a page, which is that Front page.

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Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data
6h 8m Intermediate Jul 01, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Drupal's built-in data presentation tools offer several ways for web designers to clearly and attractively package their data. In Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data, Tom Geller explains how Drupal handles data so users can set up intelligent structures and implement them with Drupal's Content Construction Kit. Tom also shows how a data-driven web site can improve its interactivity by using geographic data to connect real-world addresses to maps. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Importing and manipulating data in Drupal
  • Presenting date-formatted information in calendars
  • Understanding Drupal's data-query interface, "Views"
  • Improving view appearances with grid, list, and table formatting
  • Importing, exporting, and cloning views
  • Extending views with arguments and relationships
Subjects:
Web CMS Web Development
Software:
Drupal
Author:
Tom Geller

Learning from built-in views

There's one part of the Views interface that we've skipped over until now. Although there's a good chance you've noticed that at least once. That's the built-in views that you see when you first go to the Views administration page as you see here. Some of those built-in views are designed to replace existing Drupal pages, such as the Home page. Others are just cool. But all of them are instructive. So let's take a look at a few of them. The first one that we'll look at is actually the simplest. It's called Front page and it emulates the front page that Drupal comes with by default. Let's scroll down and find it. To turn it on, click the Enable button. You'll notice that one thing it does is to create a page, which is that Front page.

Let's go there and compare it to the actual front page of the Drupal site. You'll see that it looks very much like the Front page. If we bring up the Front page in another browser window and go back and forth between the two, there's virtually no difference at all, except, of course, you can edit the view by going up to your little ghost menu here. Let's take a look at how that's done. You'll see that it filters only to publish nodes as well as those have been promoted to the Front page. Of course, that's the way that Drupal figures out what to put on its default front page.

Let's just save that and go back to our list. Click on Edit and List. Now that we've turned it on, you'll notice there's something different between that Front page and People view. You can edit them, you can export them and you can clone them, but whereas you can delete the People view, you can only revert the Front page view and once you've reverted it, you can then disable it. That's because you can't actually delete these built-in pages. Let's scroll down in this list of views. We have the one that we created here, we also have this one, archive, and after it you see in parentheses 'default.' That's because it was installed by default when you installed Views. As you scroll down further, you see one that has Date in parentheses. That was one that was installed by a module, the date module, which we installed earlier on in this course.

But let's get back to the learning part. One thing in common with all of these views, except for the Front page one we just looked at and one other, is that they use a Views property called Arguments. Arguments is a fairly difficult subject to explain. I struggled with it for a long time, until I just took a look at some of the built-in views that used them and then it all became clear. I'll show you what I mean. We'll do so by enabling the archive view and then editing it. The first thing that you'll notice is the archive view has a page and a block. Let's take a look at that page and we see that it has a path of archive. I'm going to save that and then go to that page. What we see here is a list of months and years followed by a number in parentheses.

Let's click on that and find out exactly what it means. If you've posted nodes over a period of months, it becomes immediately clear. It's a list of what nodes were posted in what month. That's very useful, for example, for a blog site. But just as importantly, look at what happened up here in the URL. We see the year followed by the two- digit month. Now, if we go back to our view by clicking on Edit, we can start to understand exactly how arguments work. Let's go again and take a look at that page. Since we have all of our nodes entered only in March, we're only going to see one page of archives. What if we entered a 4 up here? Ah! We see exactly how it works. Just as we expected, we see April and if we created content, let's try creating a node. We'll just create a person and we'll call them testy mctestalot.

We don't need the rest of the information. We'll just scroll to the bottom and change the Authoring information. So, it looks like it was authored in April, 2009-04-01, scroll down and Save. Now, let's go back to our archive and we see, we have that one post. So it works exactly the way we expected and furthermore, if we go in and edit that view, we can figure out how arguments work a little better. Just to clean things up, I'm going to delete that node by going to Administer > Content management > Content, select the node, choose Delete and Update.

And yes, we do want to delete it. Finally, we'll go back to our view, by Administer > Site building and Views. Built-in views are great for learning because no matter what you do, you can always hit Revert. To actually save the view permanently, of course, your best bet is to clone it. The resulting cloned view would be just like any other view you created from scratch and you'd be able to delete it later if you want it. For help with cloning, see the video about importing, exporting and cloning views. One last thing. You might be wondering what good it would be to have a view called Front page if you always have to go to that URL, Front page, that is not actually the front page? Well, you can turn any view into the front page very easily. In fact, I'd like to do that with our People view.

To do so, go to Administer > Site configuration, then scroll down to Site information. If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you see Default front page. Right now, it's set to node, which is a sort of internal Drupal page. We're going to change that to our URL, people, which is where we have the view stored. We'll click Save configuration. Now, when we go home, instead of seeing that list of nodes, we see our table. In this video, I focused on how much you can learn from built-in views.

But of course, their utility goes way beyond that. Some of them are quite useful right out of the box, while others take a while to modify, so they become a great starting point for your own views. But for those of you like me, who learn best by doing, the education you get from studying built-in views is very valuable.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data.


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Q: The exercise files for the course appear to be missing.

A: Full exercise files for this course were not provided because of the unusually large amount of images, modules, and other files that would have to be installed in specific places, in addition to the database. We hope to have a solution for future Drupal courses that installs all items in their correct places.

Q: During the course the author makes reference to being able to add data via the exercise files; however, the data is not in the exercise files.
A: During the recording of the title, some of the exercise files were removed, since the frequent updates to Drupal itself and to the modules that are needed to run the exercise files cause them to break.

The data referenced in the video consists mostly of names and addresses, which will need to be typed by hand.
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